Yankees takeaways from Saturday’s 7-4 win over Reds, including Aaron Judge’s MVP-like pace

May 20, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits an RBI single against the Cincinnati Reds during the third inning at Great American Ball Park.
May 20, 2023; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits an RBI single against the Cincinnati Reds during the third inning at Great American Ball Park. / David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

Aaron Judge continued his hot hitting with an MVP-like performance, highlighted by four more hits as his hot streak continued and the Yankees came back to beat the Reds 7-4 in 10 innings on Saturday afternoon.


– Judge kept up his MVP-like pace since coming off the IL. He hit a scorching single past the third baseman in the first and another off the base of the wall in the third to score a run. The ball was hit so hard that he had to settle for a single.

He didn’t have to settle for a single in the fifth after he launched a double to score another run. In his fourth at-bat, Judge walked. In his final at-bat in the 10th, he hit an RBI single.

Judge finished the day 4-for-5 with three RBI, a run scored and a walk. In his last three games, Judge is 7-for-16 with two home runs and six RBI.

– Jhony Brito, after coming in for relief against the Blue Jays earlier this week, started for the Yankees and got behind early. After giving up a one-out walk, Brito slipped on the mound mid-pitch and put a man on second thanks to the balk. Jake Fraley launched a single into center to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. After a flyout by Spencer Steer, Fraley attempted to steal. But after an initial safe call, the Yankees challenged and the call was overturned.

After a quick second inning, Brito’s command issues popped up again in the third. He walked three batters before allowing an infield single to give the Reds a 2-1 lead. He would limit the damage, but it was evident that the young right-hander had a tough time locating his pitches. In the fourth inning, Brito got the first two outs but gave up an infield single and a Luke Maile home run on a 2-1 changeup that had way too much plate. The Reds went up 4-1 at this point in the game.

Brito’s day ended after four innings. His final line: 84 pitches with 48 strikes, four hits, four runs, four walks and six strikeouts. His ERA jumped from 5.20 to 5.58 after Saturday’s outing and it’s his second straight start that he failed to pitch more than 4.1 innings.

Ben Rortvedt made his Yankees debut Saturday and made his presence in the lineup felt early, hitting a double off the top of the wall in left field. He would be plated by Judge’s single to tie the game at 1-1. He would follow that up with a single in the fifth inning, and scored another run on a Judge double.

Rortvedt went 2-for-4 with two runs and two strikeouts.

– The Yankees offense finally got going in the fifth inning. Isiah Kiner-Falefa started the scoring with a solo shot to make it 4-2 Reds. It’s IKF’s second home run of the road trip. After Rortvedt and Gleyber Torres singled, Judge’s double made it 4-3. Anthony Rizzo lofted a single into center field to tie the game at 4-4, but Judge was caught at home plate trying to score the go-ahead run. DJ LeMahieu singled, but Harrison Bader did not capitalize as he popped out to the catcher to end the inning. The Yankees had six hits and sent up eight batters in the inning.

The offense did not get another hit until the 10th inning. Newly-acquired OF Greg Allen was the ghost-runner, pinch-running for Rortvedt. Torres hit a fly ball to right field, allowing Allen to move to third. The Reds decided to pitch to Judge and, after getting behind 0-2, the slugger laced a single into left field to put the Yankees up 5-4. Rizzo followed with a first-pitch homer on a fastball that he got around and deposited just within the foul line.

It’s Rizzo’s second straight game with a homer and the 24th of his career at Great American Ball Park — second most by a visiting player (Ryan Braun had 28).

– The Yankees bullpen, which has been a bit overworked this week and doesn’t have a day off until Monday, gave New York a chance in the later innings. Ron Marinaccio pitched two shutout innings while Michael King got two of his own. They both struck out three batters each on Saturday.

Clay Holmes pitched a scoreless ninth inning and Ryan Weber pitched a 1-2-3 10th inning to secure the 7-4 win. Weber became the seventh different Yankee to pick up a save, most in the majors.


What’s next

The Yankees finish their three-game series with the Reds on Sunday morning at 11:35 a.m. in Cincinnati.

Luis Severino makes his 2023 debut and goes up against Hunter Greene.

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